Wednesday, April 01, 2015

In the midst of … preparations!

The waiting is over and I got accepted for the Erasmus+ program! Now it is certain: I will spend the academic year 2015-16 in Nancy, a beautiful little city in the east of France!

First I had to take part in a so-called “Pre-Departure-Session”, where we got all the information we need for our term abroad (well, in my case it is almost one whole year). I had to realise, that the Université de Lorraine is not that popular amongst Erasmus-students. There are only three other persons who chose Nancy as their destination while Paris is a good deal more favoured... which I really cannot understand, I would never want to live in a city like Paris (except for London, but that is another story ;-). Anyway, I am happy with my destination, and I would not like to swap with anyone else.

From our international office I got an enormous stack of documents, really important documents, flyers, information papers, and screenshots of websites that should help me with my application. It took me some time going through all this stuff... but once you think you have decoded everything, the worst challenge is yet imminent. Starting with the online application I began to despair of the online application form, that is generally in English, but with some interspersed French terms, and in some parts it just did not make sense. I solved that problem by switching the language of the whole website to French, as I realised that the unclear points were merely mistranslations... now, I only needed a signature of the international office on my application, before I can post it to Nancy, including all the other required documents. Well, this semester break I drove to university very often... The next task was getting a French language certificate. The problem was that in university so far I only passed one course, which certifies B1+, while my university entrance qualification of 2013 says C1. Université de Lorraine demands a language level of at least B1, but recommends B2. Finally I came to a pleasant agreement with the head of the language centre and got certificated a level of B2. Next I had to generate a transcript of records. Since our online examination authority does not handle the English language (why should it? International relations are just the basis of the university system in 21st century, what do you think! *sarcasm off*) I had to translate all my passed courses at university into english, send the manually fabricated translation to the international office, and finally drive to university to collect the accredited document. Now, there are only two more documents left: The learning agreement, on which I will report once I managed it successfully (on my opinion the hardest part of the whole application), and the application form for the student residence.

Currently, I am checking the website of CROUS, the French student service organisation, which runs the student residences. I have to choose two preferred residences on the application... Well, to make a long story short, I am still in the midst of my official application at Université de Lorraine, which defined the deadline on 31th may. When I have managed the application and I can pass on the next step, I surely will record everything on this blog.

Until then and with best regards,

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